NGP Leader Appalled By Reports Of Ill-Treatment Of Saint Lucians On Canadian Farms – St. Lucia Times News

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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The leader of Saint Lucia’s National Green Party (NGP) says he is appalled by reports of ill-treatment of Saint Lucian women who went to Canada to work in the seasonal farm workers programme.

Latoya Ben who spent nearly six months picking strawberries on a Canadian farm claimed that the women suffered physical and verbal abuse, including being called ‘hungry dogs’.

While admitting that housing conditions were ‘okay’, Ben said the workers had to pay taxes as well as rent and utilities.

In addition, she said the farm did not pay for extra or holiday work.

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NGP leader Andre ‘Pancho’ de Caires described such treatment as totally unacceptable.

And he declared that guilty parties should be prosecuted.

“We as black people who have gone through slavery, working on the plantations and to go up there to be treated in this manner is totally unacceptable and the people who are treating our people like that should be prosecuted because that’s a human rights abuse,” de Caires told St Lucia Times. 

“If they are going to treat farm workers like that I would encourage our people not to go on farms to be treated in that manner,” the NGP leader stated.

In addition, he urged the authorities here to intervene.

Forty Saint Lucian women made history earlier this year as the first batch of females to enroll in the seasonal farm workers programme in Canada.

Jamaica is reported to have withdrawn its workers from four Canadian farms since the start of this year due to unacceptable conditions.

Headline photo: Andre de Caires

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